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Busted for drugs during K-9 raid, veteran gets second chance with plea

Scales of Justice (Allen Allen/Flickr)

A 51-year-old man busted after cops found heroin during a raid of his Arrochar home last month could avoid a jail sentence under a plea agreement reached Tuesday.

Carlos Cortez was arrested July 10.

Cortez was in the bedroom when officers, armed with a search warrant, entered his apartment, according to police and a criminal complaint.

Cops recovered heroin and cash from the bedroom and empty glassine envelopes from the kitchen, said the complaint.

An NYPD K-9 Unit and uniformed and plainclothes officers were spotted going in and out of the home during the morning rush hour as part of a Narcotics Borough Staten Island probe.

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Cortez was also accused of selling heroin in Tompkinsville on June 6.

The defendant pleaded guilty in state Supreme Court, St. George, to a felony and a misdemeanor count of criminal sale of a controlled substance to resolve the case.

He admitted to possessing heroin with the intent to sell on July 10.

His case will be referred to Veterans Court for the defendant to receive treatment and counseling, it was said in court.

Cortez is a U.S. Navy veteran.

If the defendant completes the Veterans Court treatment program, the felony plea will be vacated and he’ll be sentenced to a conditional discharge on the misdemeanor conviction.

He could face prison time if he fails to comply.

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Defense lawyer Biju Koshy asked that Cortez, who is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail, be released.

He said the defendant has cooperated with authorities since his arrest.

Cortez has also “engaged” with a drug treatment program while incarcerated, said Koshy.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Signorile asked that bail remain the same.

He said he feared Cortez might relapse if set free.

Justice Marina Cora Mundy left bail unchanged.

The case was adjourned to Sept. 19.

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© 2019 Staten Island Advance